Almond and Apricot Biscotti
This recipe for Biscotti was given to me by a friend, Lisa, from the Chicago area. She used to send them as holiday gifts and was nice enough to share the recipe with me for my first cookbook. The combination of almonds, dried apricots, white chocolate and Grand Marnier makes for an unforgettable treat.
Combine the dry ingredients by pulsing in the bowl of a food processor. Add diced cold butter and pulse until a fine meal forms.
Cut the dried apricots into small dice. If you are using a bar or block of white chocolate, coarsely chop it into coarse pieces no larger than 3/8-inch. I am using white chocolate chips here, so I am skipping that step.
Toast the almonds and either chop them into smaller pieces (cut each nut into thirds) or place them inside a ziplock bag and lightly crush them with a meat mallet.
This meat mallet makes quick work of pounding the almonds in this recipe. I use it often in my kitchen for tasks like crushing whole olives to remove the pits, breaking up whole spices (star anise, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks) to create more surface area, and of course, pounding meats to a consistent thickness for dishes like chicken saltimbocca.
Beat the eggs, Grand Marnier and almond extract in the bowl of a mixer until combined. Add flour mixture and chopped almonds, apricots and white chocolate and mix slowly, just until a moist dough forms.
Prepare a baking sheet with either a silicone baking mat or a piece of aluminum foil brushed with butter and lightly floured. Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces and with moistened fingertips, create rectangles strips that measure 3-inches wide by 10-inches long. Bake in a 350-degree F. oven for 30 minutes.
Once cool, slice the loaves into 3/4-inch thick slices. Lay on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake in a 300-degree F. oven for 10 minutes on each side.
Almond and Apricot BiscottiCourse: CookiesCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground dry ginger
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
2 large eggs
1/4 cup, plus 1 Tablespoon Grand Marnier or Apricot Brandy
2 teaspoons almond extract
4 ounces white chocolate, medium-coarse chop
1 2/3 cups whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
6 ounces dried apricots, cut into a small dice
- Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or a piece of foil that has been buttered and floured.
- Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and ginger in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine the ingredients. Add the butter and process until a fine meal forms.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs, Grand Marnier (or brandy) and almond extract. Add the flour mixture, white chocolate, almonds and apricots to the eggs and stir until a moist dough forms.
- Divide the dough in thirds and form into three logs on the prepared sheet, spacing them evenly. Moisten fingertips and shape each dough log into a 3-inch wide by 10-inch long rectangular strip. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until the dough is firm.
- Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake until the logs are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer sheet to a rack and cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
- Remove the logs from the sheet and transfer to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, carefully cut each log crosswise into 3/4-inch wide slices. Arrange the cookies, cut side down, on two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Gently turn the cookies over and bake 10 minutes longer. Transfer cookies to cooling racks and cool completely. Biscotti keep well for 2–3 weeks if stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They also freeze well.